Actress Geena Davis is leading a new United Nations study into the portrayal of women in film and Tv and the images' impact on female identity.

The global report will try to unearth how body shapes in the media affect women and girls by analysing the biggest-grossing films in countries including the U.S., the U.K., Australia, India, China, Japan and across mainland Europe.

A statement from Davis reads, "Media images have an enormous impact on children's self-esteem and aspirations. This is why we decided to launch a global gender in media study: If girls see it, they can be it."

Lakshmi Puri, acting head of UN Women, adds, "We cannot let the negative depiction of women and girls erode the hard gains that have been made on gender equality and women's empowerment. We hope that the study will address factors that positively impact the perception of women in society."

The Thelma & Louise star has long campaigned for equality between the sexes in Hollywood, and founded the Geena Davis Institute of Gender in Media in 2004 to help level the playing field between men and women.